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San Francisco 49ers lose two key starters in big win over New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers lose two key starters in big win over New Orleans Saints
Richard Sherman was one of two players injured for the 49ers. Pic credit: DEVO Films Presents/YouTube

The San Francisco 49ers took control of their playoff destiny when they beat the New Orleans Saints, 48-46, on Sunday. However, they also lost two key players that could hurt them as they fight for a first-round bye.

ESPN reports that starting center, Weston Richburg tore his right patellar tendon in the third quarter of the win. He will miss the rest of the season.

Starting cornerback and former Super Bowl star Richard Sherman went down with a hamstring injury, and head coach Kyle Shanahan said he would miss “a couple of weeks.”

The 49ers also lost defensive end, Dee Ford, for “a couple of weeks” to a hamstring injury as well.

Here is where the problem arises. The San Francisco 49ers have an NFC best 11-2 record. However, the Seattle Seahawks are only one game back in the NFC West with a 10-3 record.

The Seahawks also beat the 49ers earlier in the season. If the 49ers struggle without their starting center and one of their most experienced defensive stars, the Seahawks could sneak into a tie with them in the NFC West.

The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks play in the last week of the NFL season, on Dec. 29.

If the Seahawks win that game, they could win the NFC West, and the 49ers would instantly drop from the number one seed in the NFC to a Wild Card team.

The 49ers also have a game in two weeks with the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams are three games behind the 49ers and could give them a run for their money if San Francisco is short-handed.

Kyle Shanahan knows that these injuries will be hard to overcome and knows how close things are in the NFC right now.

“[It] is tough, especially losing Richburg for the year,” the head coach said. “The other guys got some serious ones, too, hopefully we can keep playing well so we can give them a chance to come back and help us if we can make our season longer than three games.”

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